As a small business, you’re working twice as hard to accomplish what your larger competitors are accomplishing. You play many roles, and keeping your data safe is just one of them. This is an arena where you can’t afford to cut corners. A large data breach can cause your business to fold, and no one wants to see that happen. Make sure you’re doing everything within your power to keep your data safe.
Regularly Update Your Backups
Bad people aren’t always the cause of severe data mishaps. Sometimes, a storm can blow through that causes a power surge. That surge can significantly damage all of your equipment, preventing you from accessing the data you need in order to serve your customers. Make sure you’re constantly updating your backups. Keep them clean by removing the things you’re sure you won’t need anymore, and stick to a schedule for freshening them up on a regular basis.
Use a Proxy
If your connection isn’t encrypted, that makes everything you transmit easy for automated programs or data thieves to intercept. When you’re using a proxy service or a VPN, your information isn’t floating out in the open air. Everything is privately contained in its own little tunnel, and that tunnel doesn’t have any windows for malicious people to peek into. While VPNs and proxies don’t satisfy absolutely every safety concern, they certainly make it significantly harder for anyone to access your private information without authorization.
Buy New Equipment When You Need To
It doesn’t matter if your computers seem to be working fine – if they’re old, they’re a liability. Business computers are supposed to be replaced every five years. Technology moves very fast, and so do security risks. It’s hard to keep an older computer up to date. Old hardware can’t always handle new software, so your protective measures may not be as effective as you believe they are. You should plan to replace your computers as they age, or even sooner if your IT professional recommends that you upgrade for safety.
Train Your Employees in Safety Standards
It doesn’t matter how safe you’ve made your actual devices or what your policy says if your employees have no idea how to use that information. Training isn’t something that happens once and is completely done with. It’s an ongoing process that needs to be refreshed as policies change and new standards emerge. Do your employees know how often they should be changing their passwords? Do they know that certain things they post on social media may place your company’s confidential information in a compromising position? Never stop discussing safety standards.
Always Have a Disaster Plan Ready
You won’t always see a disaster coming, but you need to be prepared in the event that it does. Your readiness will be what helps you rebound from a crisis, and response time means everything. If you experience a data breach or a data loss that affects your customers, get to work on resolving that issue immediately. Speak with your IT team and provide constant updates. Time is of the essence. The longer you wait and the longer the affected individuals go without hearing from you, the worse the potential outcome becomes. Stay vigilant, and make sure everyone knows their role in the solution to the problem.
With the number of ways data is stolen or compromised increasing on a daily basis, it’s never too early to raise your standards for safe business practices as far as your data is concerned. Make sure you have a rock star IT professional who is able to effectively communicate with you and your employees so everyone can stay in the loop.
Author: Amelia is an experienced writer and self-proclaimed internet addict. Having experience in business and IT administration at NYBizDb, she likes to write about technology and self-development topics.